A new global Kaspersky Safe Kids study has revealed how children expressed their interests during the 2020-2021 end of year holidays. Despite restrictions around the globe, kids managed to primarily amuse themselves with YouTube content (21%) and games (15%) – Minecraft being the most popular. Meanwhile, Donald Trump led the search count for famous people.
This year, children around the world had a very unusual end of year holiday season. Due to the epidemiological situation, street festivals and fairs in many countries were canceled; and visiting older relatives was undesirable or off limits. We analysed the anonymised search queries requested by Kaspersky Safe Kids users from 20 December 2020 to 10 January 2021, to explore how these children offset the lack of outdoor activities. The voluntarily provided anonymised metadata covers requests made via Bing, Google, Mail.ru, Yahoo!, Yandex, and YouTube, both on mobiles and desktops.
The most popular requests were associated with YouTube (21%), gaming (15%), language translators (11%), communication platforms (10%) and music (9%).
When on YouTube, children searched most frequently for video games (37%). They searched for channels of game streamers who play different games (39%) and for channels that cover specific ones like Minecraft (19%). The other most requested games on YouTube were Among Us, Brawl Stars and Gacha Life, which enables the creation of video stories.
The second most prominent search category (21%) on YouTube was related to specific bloggers or channels. For example, the DIY-topic became quite popular among children, evidenced by the top three requests for channels such as 5-Minute Crafts, 123 GO! and Troom Troom.
The third most popular YouTube search topic, unsurprisingly, was music. The most popular musicians were K-pop bands BlackPink and BTS; singers Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish; and rapper Travis Scott. The most popular songs were ‘Baby Shark’, ‘Dance Monkey’ and ‘Savage Love’.
Besides musicians and bloggers, children searched for other famous personalities. 45th U.S. President Donald Trump topped kids’ requests, ahead of other highly-searched celebrities including actress Emma Watson and entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Another strong interest was TikTok, which has seen 800 million monthly active users in over 150 countries. During this holiday break kids searched for ‘TikTok mashup’, certain TikTokers and ‘how to change restricted modes on TikTok’. In addition, the most popular challenge was to ‘try not to laugh’, which was also frequently searched in German – ‘versuche nicht zu lachen’.
“The popularity of DIY shows that children still love hand-made crafting, and the passion for Gacha Life can facilitate storytelling and cartoon creation skills. TikTok inspires kids to shoot creative videos, while Korean pop stars appeal by teaching dance moves through their video clips. Today, children who do not even know a world without video games, YouTube and messaging apps show they know how to entertain themselves regardless of any pandemic. We, as adults, should learn from them,” comments Anna Larkina, web content analysis expert at Kaspersky.
Here is some advice from Kaspersky to help parents make the online experience positive and safe for their children:
- Encourage children to use the digital environment for creativity and the development of self-expression. For example, you can recommend that they play motion-based dancing games or that you participate in video challenges together
- You can take care of your child’s security by making their account more private – TikTok has recently updated its parental control feature
- Learn more about your children’s interests. Kaspersky Safe Kids can provide you with regular reports on what makes their day. The app analyses your children’s online search activity and manages screen time without encroaching on their personal space
To learn more about Kaspersky’s recent findings on children’s interests, read more on Securelist.
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 250,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.co.za.